Sunday, 10 July 2011

Better the second time round

I love the forced creativity that opening the fridge door sometimes creates. That simple act of opening the door focuses your thoughts on the contents of the fridge, and what you can do with them. Sometimes that doesn't go so well, and sometimes you surprise yourself. Like this day.

I had some left over cooked chicken. Chicken that hadn't really worked the night before. I used a recipe I'd made before but not for some time. It used to be fabulous, not quite sure what happened this night. A simple baked chicken with mustard powder, curry powder, butter and honey. Somehow I managed to make it really quite hot this time, when previously it was quite mild. The family didn't really like it, so I had leftovers...

And it made an absolutely delicious toasted sandwich the next day for lunch!

Curried chicken and mashed kumara toasted sandwich on rye

This post is linked to Weekend Cooking, a fabulous weekly meme at Beth Fish Reads.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Raw Vegan Low GI Chocolate? What the Hell.

Or more correctly, I blame Hannah IV

I have a history of blaming Hannah for some things. Like buying somewhat ridiculous and overpriced chocolates. And having any desire whatsoever to try raw vegan low GI chocolate, which is really not my thing. At all. And now I know why.

I was so overwhelmed with the flavours available that I ended up trying all of them. So many things I had no real idea about- lucuma, maca, camu camu and purple corn. How did they taste normally? And what would they be like in chocolate? And what are Activated Almonds? Why would you activate them? And how?

Activated almonds peeking through

You should always stick with your instincts about new chocolate flavours. After all I've been eating chocolate for quite a few decades now, I think I know what I like. I picked the Activated Almond and Purple Corn as the first flavour to try. It was the best in my opinion. Turns out Activated Almonds are raw almonds that have been soaked to deactivate enzyme inhibitors that apparently make raw nuts hard to digest, and then dried out again at low temperature to make them crunchy again. I'm not sure I really buy into all that, but the activated almonds tasted fine, and didn't upset my delicate digestive mechanism. However I was rather astonished at raw chocolate. It's chocolate Jim, but not as we know it. The texture is well, awful, and the taste, well, not as we know it. And since I'm not sold on the benefits of a total raw food diet, I'd rather eat cooked chocolate, because it's nicer.

The sour cherry acai was next. I was still struggling with the texture and taste of raw chocolate, which came to the fore more given the absence of activated almonds. The taste did linger on the palate for quite some time even after a small delicate nibble on just a few squares. The flavour elements don't seem to blend, and the berries stand apart somehow. This isn't the sort of chocolate to gobble greedily. Perhaps a good thing. But if you are going to eat chocolate, really, you want to enjoy it more than this I think.

I'm vaguely interested in eating things that I have to google first to work out what they are. Always up for a new experience, me.

Sadly a bit bloomed

Stupid computer won't let me rotate this one

Goji berries, ok. They've been a bit of a trend over the past few years. I know what they are. But Camu Camu, Maca and Lucuma? Absolutely no idea of what they are, or how they will taste. Turns out they are all South American plants. Which is ok I guess but makes me start to ponder food miles and the utility of all this. Then I discover that Camu Camu is apparently at risk of becoming an endangered species because people like me like novel chocolate flavourings that are allegedly good for us, and chock full of anti-oxidants. And then none of them seemed to taste all that much of anything. Well at least in this format. Lucuma is meant to taste like caramel, and is a popular icecream flavour in Peru. I didn't get any caramel notions here though.

I left the Crunchy Mint to last, expecting not to like it. I've never been all that keen on the crunchy type chocolates, with shards of sugary flavours.  But to my surprise this was probably the second best one. The mint flavour was quite pleasant. Although I still hadn't got used to the whole raw chocolate vibe.

I think that my raw chocolate career may be over. I guess if you're really into the raw diet ethos then these at least would be treats- and they're still much better than carob!